Shakuntla D Gamlin, principal secretary (power), on Saturday assumed charge as officiating chief secretary in clear defiance of the expressed stand of the AAP-led Delhi government.
Many senior officials supported her move, although in hushed tones, saying she has the right to defend her integrity.
“Firstly, it’s wrong of the government to level allegations against a senior official on the basis of perception. Secondly, if you think she has close ties with power discoms, then you should have objections to her being the principal secretary (power). Not many of us could understand why the government is objecting to her appointment as acting chief secretary as the post has barely anything do with discoms,” an official said.
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The current Chief Secretary K K Sharma has left for the US for 10 days due to which the government had to appoint an acting chief secretary.
With Gamlin assuming the charge, the ties between Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal plunged to an all-time low on Saturday.
The government had earlier issued an advisory to Gamlin to not follow the LG’s orders and assume the charge.
Sources in the government said Gamlin went against the advisory and assumed charge as the top bureaucrat of the city-state.
Meanwhile, in a major embarrassment to Kejriwal, former New Delhi Municipal Council chairperson Parimal Rai, who was recommended for the post, has written to the chief minister to not consider him for the post.
Sources said Rai wrote that he was touched by the faith the CM reposed in him, but he would like to opt out of the race given the present scenario.
Sources also claimed that Gamlin is under tremendous pressure from the government to not take decisions as the acting chief secretary as her appointment has been done against the wishes of the CM.
Sources claimed that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on a noting to the L-G had recommended two names for the post acting CS — Gamlin and Rai.
“Sisodia put the stress on appointing Rai as officiating chief secretary. However, L-G chose Gamlin as she was the senior-most. We do not understand why he (Sisodia) is crying foul when it was he who gave the two shortlisted names to the L-G,” a source at Raj Bhavan said.